According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the spill-over of COVID-19 pandemic has trickled down to the domestic economy given Fiji’s inter-connectedness to the global economy that is deeply dependent on the movement of goods and people.

University of the South Pacific Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Business and Economics, Dr Nilesh Goundar believes with the tourism industry, which accounts for around 35 percent of GDP, having been devastated by travel-related restrictions and the consequent halt in international tourism- the Fijian economy may likely take longer than 2023 to recover.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji’s last review stated that visitor arrivals is forecast to decline by 75 percent this year with the flow-on effects bringing tourism dependent sectors to a standstill.

Similarly, the spill-over of the COVID-19 pandemic has trickled down to the domestic economy given Fiji’s inter-connectedness to the global economy that is deeply dependent on the movement of goods and people.

The tourism industry which accounts for around 35percent of GDP has been devastated by travel-related restrictions and the consequent halt in international tourism.

As such, visitor arrivals are forecast to decline by 75 percent this year with the flow-on effects bringing tourism dependent sectors to a standstill.

This has culminated in a spike in unemployment as many businesses have scaled back or shut down operations.

The retrenchment in consumption and investment activities along with the plunge in external trade will place additional downward pressure on Government’s tax collections.

Dr Nilesh Goundar say this has culminated in a spike in unemployment as many businesses have scaled back or shut down operations.

The possibilities of this economic spill-over to spill into 2021 is more likely, and hence similar economic situations will be seen next year- if not worse.

Dr Goundar says this economic time is unpredictive and even experts are unsure of whats next.

Against this backdrop, the Fijian economy is projected to contract by 21.7 percent in 2020 -the most severe contraction in our modern history.

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